That Hour Of Television Actually Bordered on Decent!
I would not describe today's episode of General Hospital as great, or even good, but I can honestly say with no hesitation that it was kind of okay, which is the most effusive praise I have given this show in ages! And once again, I am most complimentary of an episode completely lacking in Sonny and Claudia. Coincidence? I think not!
It had all of the elements of, you know, a soap opera: snappy dialogue! Veteran characters! An umbrella storyline that features the actual General Hospital of General Hospital! It would make me all warm and fuzzy if I thought for even one second that this was the signal of a creative upswing, rather than an enjoyable aberration.
The biggest key to my happiness? Nancy Lee Grahn.
Her increased onscreen presence, after eons of being backburnered, is a welcome surprise. I'm a little leery of what is coming down the pike, what with Alexis not having an inkling that her daughter is a hellraiser, and I have a feeling that nothing good will come of her part in the Player Mayor Mistress Murder story but damn it, I am determined to enjoy the NLG goodness while I can, before the writers forget that she is in the cast again.
And then we had a MAC sighting.
And he was in hilarious overprotective yet self-aware dad mode:
Mac: Yeah, well, you know, that's just it, ok? You see, I'll never know, because I backed myself into a corner. Look, I can't ask Maxie straight out, or she'll get defensive. That'll make me mad, and I'll start issuing ultimatums that I don't mean. We'll be worse off than when we started, all because Maxie's mad at me.
Robin: Ok, how about trying the calm and reasonable approach?
Mac:Do I need to explain this again? Maxie and Spinelli were in some kind of floor clinch in the mayor's office. You know, after breaking into the mayor's office. What part of that do you want me to be calm and reasonable about?
AND he was repulsed by Maxie being with Spinelli at all, which is just hilarious.
Even Rebecca and Ethan scenes were not just tolerable, but entertaining, because of Tracy's presence.
Rebecca: I realize you're part owner of the casino. So that means Ethan gets to stand here and get interrogated by you. I don't.
Tracy: Nice try, but I will not be deflected from this fascinating coincidence. Emily's long lost sister and Luke's long lost son in an intense conversation which couldn't be about anything but somebody else's money.
Ethan: Look, i'm so sorry to disappoint you, Tracy, but there's no vast conspiracy here. Although I would love to run a good scam with Rebecca. She is quite alluring. She only wants to discuss the details of a card game i'm setting up.
Tracy: That was good. Tell me another one.
It was so nice watching them deal with someone capable of complex thought, which is a far cry from the usual scenes we see them in (You know the ones...NIKOLAS: What's going on? REBECCA AND ETHAN, IN UNISON, EYES DARTING NERVOUSLY: Nothing. NIKOLAS: Okay, cool.) This is further proof that Jane Elliot is magical, and can make anything better. She really needs to work out a deal with the major networks and hop from show to show, being sassy and improving the acting of everyone around her (in an effort to maintain the positive tone I am striving for, I won't say how much the acting of Natalia Livingston and Nathan Parsons improved in these scenes, and will just say that they improved and remind you all that going from zero to one is still an improvement, however small it may be).
I will say that it's ridiculous that Ethan is the sole member of Luke's family (ugh, it is still hard for me to type that) to sense that Luke actually didn't up and leave town this time and really is in danger. It's such lazy writing: "Luke and Ethan are totally alike! He knows Luke better than his brother and sister! Their connection is real and beautiful!"
However, I was amused by Lulu dragging Lucky to the Haunted Star to deal with Ethan's panic about Luke, and the look that they exchanged when Ethan said, "He told me he wasn't leaving."
Lulu was all, "That's adorably clueless" and Lucky plainly thought, "This dumbass is even dumber than I am." Lucky is adorable when he is exasperated, and he is also adorable with his new haircut.
Plus, Martha Byrne!
I'm looking forward to seeing how the mayor's wife is involved in the death of his mistress, and seeing how she works with the rest of the cast. Although Bob Guza is writing this show, so I am sure that I will be disappointed, and with a quickness...
I did have a couple of complaints about the episode
(such as how quickly Nikolas stopped arguing with Epiphany after getting in some good digs
Epiphany: I would greatly appreciate it if you conducted your personal life on your own time. Young women are distractible. You get my drift? [You know who else is distractible? Nurses who cannot mind their own business ever--Ed.]
Nikolas:Actually, no, Nurse Johnson, I don't. So far, all I hear are assumptions. One, that I came here to see Rebecca as opposed to attending a board meeting, and the second most egregious assumption is that you have a say in whom I see when.
Epiphany: I get that you're a big shot around here, Mr. Cassadine. People bow and scrape when you walk by. I'm not intimidated. If I can't get things done around this hospital because you choose to use it as your own little personal hunting ground, I'll take it to the board.
Come on, Nik! You're better than that!)
but then I remembered what Liz was wearing today and forgot them all.
What IS that? And then that made me think of an old outfit of Lulu's
and now I am worried that someone in the wardrobe department has a serious Rainbrow Brite fetish. Which, yes, it's far better than the fetishes the writing staff has, but it is troubling all the same.